Bad taste never looked so good and good-looking cakes never tasted so bad. Welcome, friends, to the Madonna Inn, the delightfully kooky and kitsch landmark hotel in San Luis Obispo, CA. No road trip up the coast would be complete without a stop at this legendary and conspicuous haunt.
Behind these double doors awaits an explosion of color. No, seriously, stay back if you have an aversion to pink.
The inn was established in 1958 by Alex Madonna, a successful construction magnate and entrepreneur, and his wife Phyllis. Visitors passing through are welcome to take in the outrageously decorated steakhouse, bar and world famous bakery on site.
There are 110 individually decorated guestrooms, each with a distinct theme and color, for overnight lodging. I didn’t stay in any of these gems, but I did enjoy an afternoon and evening of over-the-top confections, martinis and salsa music by the resident Sunday night band. Until next time!
(Sources: RebeccaPrus Instagram, TomorrowGirl Flickr, We Are Eat, Madonna Inn)
Terrific Typography for #DSLettering
I really love the hashtag challenges that Design*Sponge has initiated via Instagram. The venerable blog selects a monthly theme, idea or challenge and collects entries via hashtag, the best of which are showcased on the Design*Sponge website. They’ve all been beautiful and really fun to partake in, but I think the recent #DSLettering challenge might be my favorite thus far.
In the words of Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney, “There is absolutely an art and a real skill behind exquisite lettering, and this month’s challenge is about celebrating and showcasing that art everywhere you see it. So when you’re out and about, snap a picture of eye-catching lettering you see near you…signs, cards, details on packaging.”
From old roadside signs to new stationery and storefronts, unique Instagrams from around the world were shared via #DSLettering. The typography above is among some of the most striking for me.
(Sources, top to bottom: Mas_Vale, Lovelydetails, Saltabie, ScoutsHonorCo, Susie_Bauer, DsgnCuriosities, AModernMythology, ltburke, ValerieLily, ThePaulRudolph, Clewis10, Anyeske)
World of Juju
Shout out to Miss Moss for sharing the hidden gem that is Juanel de la Forêt's Instagram feed. A photographer from Cape Town currently working in Paris / London with her partner Jesse-Leigh Elford, de la Forêt takes eye catching snaps of her day to day life between traveling and shoots.
(Source: Miss Moss)
Catalina Island: A Birthday to Remember
To celebrate my birthday this year, I explored Catalina Island for the first time. I snorkeled, swam, biked, boated, ate, drank and watched a full moon rise over the coast of California. Sigh, what a day…
Unbeknownst to me, Catalina Island is considered ‘The Birthday Island’ — meaning free ferry ride, free ice cream, free coffee, free parasailing, and all sorts of other deals on activities, shopping, dining and lodging.
I suggest bringing a bike on the ferry to cover a little more ground. Then be sure to explore Avalon Harbor, the iconic Catalina Casino, Descanso Beach and have a Bloody Mary at Marlin Club Bar. I was only there for the day but it was totally worth it. I look forward to touring the rest of the island some time this summer!
Dusty rose and soft blue over downtown LA.
Jeff Delude is an artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Skilled in a variety of mediums, he has focused almost exclusively on mixed/media paper collages for the past four years. His portfolio has amassed over two thousand collages! Crazy! On a side note, I wish fashion advertisements would utilize collage. When done well, I believe they can have more visual impact than the singlular images we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.
Genius in Color: William Eggleston
Sometimes, late at night when I’m procrastinating a deadline, I find myself scouring the archives of William Eggleston for inspiration. Among my favorite artists of all time, Eggleston was a genius in color and a precursor to the saturated look and still life styles of Instagram today. Writer Richard Wooward aptly describes Eggleston’s work as “fearless naturalism—a belief that by looking patiently at what others ignore or look away from, interesting things can be seen.”
Caris Reid is an artist living in New York at the moment. I discovered her work through Dossier Journal and was immediately moved by its romantic, colorful, slightly nostalgic style. Beyond her beautiful and vivid paintings, she is a master collage artist (can’t stop won’t stop loving the collage!) and hosts pop up collage sessions in and around NYC. How cool is that?! Follow her tumblr to receive news and updates on her forthcoming workshops. You also have the chance to see some of Caris’s recent painting work exhibited at the new Dossier Outpost in the South Street Seaport until June 9 if you’re around.
Happy Friday from LA.
Never been a fan of formal or indoor exercise. I get my kicks from the outdoors and discovering new sights. So these wild, windy staircases on stone slopes around the world have me fascinated. Where are they going? How long have they been there? Who wants to find out with me?
(Source: propaedeuticist, via bigmagnets)
The Poppy was designated California’s state flower in 1903. Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat. The duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year. Locals say low rainfall has made blooming less abundant this year, but for this California newbie it was a sight to behold! Above are a few snaps from a visit during peak season end of April.
(Source: Carmina Instagram, Peter Bohler Photography, Lasaritabonita Instagram, Angie Smith Photography)
Matter: Pants To See The World In
I seldom wear pants (can’t be constricted!) but the debut collection and corresponding lookbook from MATTER has made me reconsider. A socially motivated clothing line founded by Yvonne Suner and Renyung Ho after a trip across India, MATTER features “pants to see the world in.” They are made from Tussar silk cotton, with no zips to snag or clasps to break.
From their website: Working with artisan communities in Rajasthan, MATTER employs time-honored techniques of the loom and blockprint to develop unique fabrics and designs. Pants styles are designed through multiple fittings on multiple women, and field tested to ensure they withstand the challenges of airplane hopping or rush hour traﬃc navigation, taking the wearer from sandy beach to city bar with ease.
Love the sound of that and the look of these breezy threads! Makes me want to book a flight somewhere random and remote right now. Thanks to Miss Moss for the fabulous find, as always.
(Source: Miss Moss)
Happy Friday! Go yonder, in style.
Glamour Magazine, 1957.
(Source: clover-vintage, via theniftyfifties)
Work by Land
Land is a commercial and artistic design firm by Caleb Owen Everitt and Ryan Rhodes. Based in a brick warehouse shop in East Austin, Texas, these dudes are turning out some of the best and most interesting work I’ve been seeing lately. In the words of Stay Wild magazine, “their hands are the face of your favorite outdoor brand.” And indeed they are. Their typography, art and miscellaneous branding for clients including Poler Stuff, Patagonia, Deus Ex Machina and the like have solidified the look and vibe of the outdoorsy revival. Below are some of my faves…
(Top to bottom: West America, Patagonia, Easy Tiger, Easy Tiger, Yonder Journal, Hufnagel Cycles, West America, Flat Track Coffee, Deus Ex Machina, Poler Stuff, Patagonia, Kartwheel, West America)
Awesome Girly-Veggiefruit Alphabet: Aitch
Ever stumble upon the work of an artist and wonder how you ever lived without them? That’s how I recently felt when I found Aitch. I’ve made note of it before here and here, but moving to Los Angeles has rewarded my love of color. And Aitch’s work is nothing less than an explosion of vivid hues.
In the Romanian artist’s own words, her work ranges from “pink, cute and elegant to sometimes creepy, with semi-religious, bizarre characters mixed in surreal sets.” She applies her skills in graphic design, painting and caricature by making objets d’art, urban toys and clothes, often showed in fairs and stores in Bucharest, Berlin, Hannover, Barcelona or Madrid. I’d travel that far for the Girly-Veggiefruit Alphabet, at top, but luckily you can simply purchase it via Society 6.